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Black Hearts

(Sins Duet #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,012 ratings  ·  343 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes a BRAND NEW standalone duet that will get your pulse racing.

For Vicente Bernal, truth is all he’s known. The son of an infamous drug lord, Vicente was born to help run the family business, which means he’s been raised on a throne of sordid pasts and dirty laundry, violence and pride. But when Vicente stumbles across some
Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published February 18th 2017 by Metal Blonde Books
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Ana I waited until I had BOTH books and I am so glad because YES it is a cliffhanger. I would have been VERY upset if I couldn't go straight to the next…moreI waited until I had BOTH books and I am so glad because YES it is a cliffhanger. I would have been VERY upset if I couldn't go straight to the next book(less)
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Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: february-2017

4 Stars!!

I’ve read several books by this author and I’m a big fan of her stories, but my favorite ones are, without a doubt, her darker ones. She always manages to keep me at the edge of my seat with her dark and gritty stories, her intriguing heroes/anti-heroes and sclass="gr-hostedUserImg">

I’ve read several books by this author and I’m a big fan of her stories, but my favorite ones are, without a doubt, her darker ones. She always manages to keep me at the edge of my seat with her dark and gritty stories, her intriguing heroes/anti-heroes and some interesting, captivating twists. 'Black Hearts', the first installment in Karina’s 'Sin Duet Series' is awesome, enthralling and sucked me in from the start. If you love dark-ish stories and you are looking for a great mix of action, suspense and steam, you must read this one ASAP.

“If Helen of Troy’s face could launch a thousand ships, Violet McQueen’s face could launch a thousand stories, all filled with lust, heartache, and death.”

Violet McQueen is a photography student in her second year at the Art Institute of San Francisco. She has a good, for the most part, relationship with her parents, but she has always felt that something was off with her family. When she discovers that she has been raised in a house of lies, Violet doesn’t know what to believe, but she definitely wants to find the truth about her parents and their pasts. Violet’s life is changed completely when she meets a gorgeous Hispanic man, named Vicente. He’s different from any other man she has met before - he’s sexy, confident and, for whatever reason, he seems interested to get to know her. She also feels safe with him.

"I’ve had a taste of the power, the glory, the respect, and the money. I’m not saying I don’t want it. But I want it my way. Not his.

Vicente Bernal is the prodigal son, the one who is supposed to take over when his father, ‘Chefe do Cartel de Sinaloa’ retires or commands him to do so. He grew up in the cartel and he has been trained for it. However, he doesn’t want to be the next in line. He knows what it means to have the power, the respect and the money and he wants all, but on his own terms.

Violet and Vicente’s connection is strong, but what happens when their relationship seems to have tragic consequences, when the truths and the lies between them and between their families threaten to tear them apart and also threaten their very lives?

“You’re everything I’ve ever needed,” he says through a lustful groan. He bites his lip, the corded muscles of his neck straining. “I was famished, starved, for you. For this.”

'Black Hearts' exceeded all my expectations. I really enjoyed this thrilling first installment. It’s addictive, fantastically written and, like any other dark book I’ve read by this author, kept me guessing until the end. For one reason or another, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time reading this novel and I totally loved it.

The story has everything to keep you entertained – suspense, action, steam, with some dark-ish elements that personally I loved. However, my favorite aspect was the suspense one, which was fantastically done. So, yeah, the story has some heart pounding, nail biting moments that I really enjoyed.

I liked Violet’s character. She’s sensitive, in a very endearing way and a little shy, at least in the beginning. She’s very intuitive, which I loved and I liked how Vicente opens her eyes on some things making her strong and bolder in the process.

“You’re mine, Violet,” I murmur roughly against her mouth, my fingers pressing into her cheekbones. “I don’t care how that sounds, but it’s all truth. You belong to me.”

Vincente, like his father, is charming, sexy as hell and ruthless. While he is cruel and he has been killing ever since he was just a boy, I enjoyed his character a lot. He is intriguing, desirable, yet so very manipulative and driven. I loved his dirty mouth and I loved how slowly, but surely, he introduces Violet to a new world of pleasure, pain and passion. The sex scenes between these two are off the charts hot!

This first installment is told in multiple POVs, which I enjoyed. The plot develops at a steady pace and, as the story unfolds, many questions arise regarding the relationships between certain characters . Needless to say, I’m dying to read the second installment.

All in all, 'Black Hearts' is another great tale by Karina Halle – intriguing, well written, with a well-developed plot and multi-layered characters.

“The Bernals aren’t good people. The McQueens aren’t either.”

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Ever since reading 'On Every Street', I have been a huge fan of Karina Halle's work. Admittedly, I'm still a little bitter over the fact that Ellie and Javier didn't end up together. Being a "glass half full" kind of lady, I see this spin-off series as Ms. Halle's chance to give those of us on team Javi a little something. After all, if we can't have Javier and Ellie then we can at least have Vicente and Violet. (Take that Camden!)

If you haven't read 'The Artists Trilogy' followed by
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-four-stars
4 stars!!!!

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'The Bernals aren't good people. The McQueens aren't either.'

Fans of Halle's The Artists Trilogy and Dirty Angels trilogy rejoice! We have a book about Violet McQueen and Vicente Bernal!  For those of you who haven't read either of the trilogies, have no fear. This can 100% be read as a stand alone, though there is a second book coming out. When I first heard this book was being released, I was so flipping excited. Javier's son and Camden & Ellie's daughter... I couldn't wait to rea
~Anna's ƦªϻƁℓℹռg$~
4 stars

Why did it take her so long to write another dark book? Doesn’t she get that is where her talent really lies?

The characterization?
Subtle. Complex. Rich.

The characters?
Real as they come. I love how she makes you understand, accept and love their virtues and flaws. And I love how she makes them grow throughout the story, how they learn about themselves, bit by bit. She gives readers a strong sense of characters' personalities and complexities; her characters are vivid, believable and alive.

Favorite character?
I love Javier but somehow he isn’t my type. He is a bit too hard,alive.
Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog
*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

I was thoroughly fucked by Vicente.
Over and over and over again.
In a way I never imagined.
He made me step away from myself. He pulled me out of that prison. He opened my eyes to a reality I didn’t think I could be a part of.
He made my weaknesses my strengths.
He made it raw and beautiful.

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BLACK HEARTS is a spin-off of The Artist Trilogy and Dirty Angels series but can definitely be rAuthor}
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ebooks, romance
4.5 stars!

“Didn’t your father ever teach you that love is what gets you killed?”

Just want to say first off, Black Hearts can be read without having read The Artists trilogy or the Dirty Angels trilogy. I myself (shamefully) have not read the Dirty Angels books or completed TAT and can honestly say I was able to read and enjoy this book just fine.

Black Hearts is the story of Violet McQueen, a young woman in her second year of photography school who is beginning to discover her family is
"Love is a funny thing. It can cause all our demons to go away."


Black Hearts is the first book in the Sins Duet. Anyone who has read The Artists Trilogy is going to want to pick up this bad boy right now! Javier is the KING, and now his son Vicente is ready to rise and take the throne. But does he have what it takes?
"Everything I know is a lie."
Violet McQueen has been living happily in a house of lies. Her parents have always showered her with love and given her the freedom to express herself. As a college
Arabella ~♡AB♡~
★★★★ 4.5 Stars ★★★★

Violet McQueen is a sensitive soul, but underneath lurk unfamiliar feelings that she can't quite put her finger on, until that is, she finds out that her parents have been lying to her since she was a little girl and her curiosity causes her to dig deeper.

When she meets a dark, handsome stranger, she feels like she has finally met someone who understands her, and not only doe
Alex is The Romance Fox
After reading the last book by this author, Dirty Promises, which was the only one I have totally disliked by Karina Halle, I had extremely high hopes for Black Hearts, which is part of a duet and a spinoff of the other 3 Trilogies.

Well, to be honest - I more than disliked this book!!!!

I'm going to keep this short......why did I hate it!!

The main characters:

Vincent Bernal:
Javier Bernal's son. What a horrible creature. So, his life has been pretty so not as the so/>Vincent/>The
MELISSA *Mel Reader*
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
5 Stars!

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Vicente Bernal grew up in Mexico as the prodigal son of a drug lord. He was raised to one day take over the cartel & had everything he wants in life except freedom. He grew up sheltered & often isolated for his safety in a world full of power, respect and money. He was born to follow in his fathers footsteps, & lost his innocence
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books

“You’re everything I’ve ever needed,” he says through a lustful groan. He bites his lip, the corded muscles of his neck straining. “I was famished, starved, for you. For this.”

So...I have had The Artists Trilogy and Dirty Angels on my Kindle what seems like foreveclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Lo Bookfrantic

Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 of 2 from Sins Duet
POV: First Person – Dual

“The Bernals aren’t good people. The McQueens aren’t either.”

Violet McQueen has been sheltered by her family and is now trying to find her way in life studying as a photographer. One day she meets a man that caught her attention. He was mysterious extremely hot and she found herself trusting him more than she should any other stranger.

“But I’m sure you of all people would know that sometimes you can connect with someone in ways you didn’t think you could.”

Vicente Bernstranger.
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤
5 Brilliant stars <3

"I'm afraid for a million reasons.And I know that he's the man who will take my fear away.By replacing it with another fear.A good fear.Anticipation."

This book was one of my most anticipated for two reasons!First of all because it's Karina's and she is one of my top favorite authors and secondly because it's about Vicente, Javier's son.So you can imagine my excitement when I started reading it!


And trust me this is another awesome story from Karina!!Karina delivers a brilliant ,compelling,dark,super hot,ero
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of suspense, cartel/mafia, TAT series
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 2 from Sins Duet
POV: Shifting

Violet McQueen had a comfortable life. As a photography student, her passion was to see things from a different perspective, but when it came to her own family, it wasn't as easy. Finding out she had been living in a lie was a hard blow to her, but someone new in her life could help her forget and move on.

Vicente Bernal grew up surrounded by power and violence. As the son of one of the most respected and feared Cartel boss, he was groomed to take oveShifting
Amy | Foxy Blogs
YES!!! This book was everything I had hoped for when I found out the children of two of my favorite series were going to hook up for their own mayhem.

"I was raised in a house of lies." -Violet

Violet has grown up knowing something seemed off with her parents. She's always felt they were hiding their past from her and her brother. Her parents sheltered her from their sins by letting her believe lies about their past.

"Off to a new land. Where I am no longer Javier Bernal’s son. Where the prince can become the king."

Vicente is secondking."
4,5 stars. There is no way to not want to read the next part after that. You will definitely like it if you enjoy dark hot romances.

About the plot: Violet McQueen felt her whole life, that things aren't quite what they seem in her family. She has a good life, but the secrets are hanging in their house like a dark cloud. When she meets Vicente in front of her school, not even suspected that their meeting is not accidental.

Vicente Bernal is a son of infamous cartel's king. He wants to take over from his father, butromances.
4.5 Stars!


Violet McQueen is a photography student who always felt like all wasn’t what it seemed within her family. Having been labeled as a sensitive person, it was easy to feel self-conscience and she learned to distrust her instincts. It isn’t until she meets a mysterious man when all she’s been wondering about comes into question.

“Your not just rebellious, you’re part of the rebellion.”

Vicente Bernal is the second in command in his father's drug cartel. Determined to get his answers to the questquestion.
"Didn't your father ever teach you that love is what gets you killed?"


So I haven't read Karina Halle's Artist's Trilogy and Dirty Angels Series (which I understand Black Hearts is a spin off of). But after reading Black Hearts this is what I've gathered:

1. Vincente is the son of Javier - who runs a drug cartel in Mexico - and is next in line to take over. Vincente and Javier don't really get along and Vincente wants to separate himself from his father and his ways. He wants to be free to run the ca
Jay Crownover
this is pretty much the sexiest book I've read in forever. Karina at her best...and she's always great. read it!
KAT ♕ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books ♕
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BLACK HEARTS: This is spoken in ‘Multiple Perspectives’
(Elle & Violet -MOTHER/DAUGHTER)
(Vicente & Javier - FATHER/SON)

Someone has to pay for the sins of the fathers. And they’ll be paying the price with their souls.

At an early age Violet has always had an odd feeling that something is off about her parents, something doesn’t add up. Feeling that she was raised in a house shrouded in lies. Now at the age of twenty that feeling still lingers in her mind.

They say curiosity killed the cat, Violet's curiosity gets the besFATHER/SON)
S.M. West
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, alpha
I was beyond thrilled when I learned that we were getting a story about the offspring from my two favourite series - TAT and DA - from this author!

TAT was my first read of Karina's and I feel in love with her. So, visiting Ellie and Camden, as well Javier - YES!!

And of course, Vicente and Violet were amazing! This story sucked me right in and never let go. With Vicente, Karina gave us just enough of Javi to love son like father, but also made him his own man. And damn, he was dark and sexy.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**


"You're everything I've ever needed, I was famished, starved, for you. For this."

I love Karina Halle's books. The Dirty Angels Trilogy is one of my favorite dark romance series, so I was SUPER excited to get my hands on Black Hearts, which is focusing on Javier & Luisa's son Vicente. I was excited because I also wanclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Black Hearts is the first installment in Karina Halle's dark romance duology: Sins Duet. This duology is the second spin-off of Ms. Halle's The Artists Trilogy, and the romance features the children of The Artists Trilogy main characters. Confused? Let me lay it out for you...

The Artists Trilogy (published 2013)
#0.5-On Every Street
Mg ♥ The Bookishmedialite

4.5 STARS!!!

"The Bernals aren't good people. The McQueens aren't ether."

Two Families.
A son.
A daughter.

She was raised in a house of LIES.
He was born in a house of SIN.

He wanted to become a KING. She just wanted to be FREE.

In a tortured world, coincidences are just an explanation used by fools and liars, and Vicente Bernal is no fool. With a plan set to win his father's respect, Vicente sets out to California to find a woman from his father's past. A woman he thinks will help him to beat his father and take over the cartel. Wether."
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked Black Hearts!
Stacey is Sassy
DNF - 41%

Not rating this one because I did not finish it.

Each to their own and all that jazz, but I really struggle with New Adult Romance. In this case, my struggle was with the heroine.

(view spoiler)

I just don’t get it. I know
Karina Halle did it again!!! She created a masterpiece as far as I'm concerned! This time, instead of Ellie and Camden McQueen, or Javier Bernal and his woman....we get to meet their children....Well, grown up children!!! This book is about Vicente and Violet...

At first, I had a hard time picturing the kids being adult, so I was struggling with them being involved in sexy times, and in Vincente's case...violence...but I got over that real quick and got into this story full heartedly.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-2-stars-read
I am very sad to say this, but all you need to know about this novel is that it has underdeveloped storyline and characters. And book suffers a lot because of it.

All I got was a little bit of suspense, plenty of sex, ridiculous and unbelievable romance (who trusts so completely a questionable guy seconds/days after meeting him while knowing basically nothing about him?), naive heroine and forgettable hero who thinks too much of himself but hasn’t achieved anything yet.

Jessica  (Angie & Jessica's Dreamy Reads)
I'll preface by telling you that Black Hearts is 100% a standalone novel. (Well, sort of... it's the beginning of a duet. But you DO NOT need any backstory before you start reading.) Vicente Bernal and Violet McQueen take the reader on their journey of uncovering their family history and unearthing all the ways their parents were connected in another life. If you've never read a single book by Karina Halle before, you can start here without missing a thing because you'll come to know the truth r ...more
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Karina Halle is a former travel writer & music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling author of The Swedish Prince, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Bad at Love & over 45 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her adopted pup Bruce, where she drinks a lot of win ...more

Other books in the series

Sins Duet (2 books)
  • Dirty Souls (Sins Duet, #2)
“Didn’t your father ever teach you … that love is what gets you killed?” 4 likes
“But life doesn’t stop at a happily-ever-after. And as far ahead in the future as you might be, the past is never far behind. You just have to look over your shoulder.” 3 likes
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